Need an expert? COVID-19: a guide to dealing with the effects of a silent crisis

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A woman wearing a face mask

Members of the media may directly contact the following expert:

Jude Mary Cénat (English and French)
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Psychology. Director of the Vulnerability, Trauma, Resilience and Culture Research (V-TRaC) Lab
 

Professor Jude Mary Cénat is the lead author of Psychological intervention guide: Intervening in the context of infectious disease outbreaks.

The online guide features educational modules that aim to equip mental health professionals to manage the psychosocial health of communities affected by infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

“In order to protect ourselves from COVID-19, people have had to learn and adopt a series of behaviours that are normally associated with mental health disorders,” says the researcher. “Washing our hands dozens of times a day is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, other behaviours are related to depression, while some social distancing measures are associated with social phobias.” […]

“Since some provincial authorities are moving to reopen schools, there is, for example, an urgent need to reinforce the psychological first aid skills of school personnel,” says Professor Cénat, to help them identify students who will need to be referred to a specialist. Teachers and support staff returning to school would feel much less stress if they felt better prepared to support students whose mental health may have suffered during confinement. “Some children may have had to deal with parental violence or witnessed domestic violence,” adds the psychologist, who sees deconfinement as both a challenge and an opportunity to help some people find psychological balance with the proper tools.

 

To read the full article: Mental health during a pandemic: a guide to dealing with the effects of a silent crisis

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